President Donald Trump on Friday remembered the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks at the crash site of United Airlines Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, saying the 40 passengers on board who overcame terrorist hijackers show that Americans will “fight back.”
“America will never relent in pursuing terrorists that threaten our people,” Trump said, adding: “The heroes of Flight 93 are an everlasting reminder that no matter the danger, no matter the threat, no matter the odds, America will always rise up, stand tall, and fight back.”
In the weeks after the attacks that left 2,977 dead, Americans “were united by our conviction that America was the world’s most exceptional country, blessed with the most incredible heroes, and that this was a land worth defending with our very last breath,” the president said.
“It was a unity based on love for our families, care for our neighbors, loyalty to our fellow citizens, pride in our great flag, gratitude for our police and first responders, faith in God—and a refusal to bend our will to the depraved forces of violence, intimidation, oppression, and evil,” Trump said.
Before the speech, Trump and first lady Melania Trump, along with other White House officials, held a moment of silence onboard their plane.
The president’s comments meant to inspire and reflect on the heroism following Sept. 11 comes as he leads the United States through the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic and as he tries to draw down troops from Afghanistan and Iraq after decades of war.
Trump noted that Flight 93, after it was hijacked by al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorists, was taken back by passengers who fought back after they learned other planes were hijacked and flown into the World Trade Center in New York City.
“The 40 of Flight 93 did the most American of things, they took a vote,” Trump said on Friday. “And then they acted. Together they charged the cockpit, they confronted the pure evil, and then their last act on this earth, they saved our Capitol.”
Trump, in the address, also paid tribute to “the nearly 6 million young men and women who have enlisted in the United States Armed Forces since September 11th, 2001,” adding, “More than 7,000 military heroes have laid down their lives since 9/11 to preserve our freedom. No words can express the summit of their glory or the infinite depth of our gratitude.”
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden will visit Shanksville, Pennsylvania, on Friday after Trump leaves. He was seen attending a memorial at Ground Zero in Manhattan, which was also attended by Vice President Mike Pence, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.).
Biden told reporters that he won’t mention politics for the day.
“I’m not gonna make any news today. I’m not gonna talk about anything other than 9/11,” he told reporters. “We took all our advertising down, it’s a solemn day, and that’s how we’re going to keep it, OK?”
Trump’s visit to Pennsylvania on Friday marks the third one to the Keystone State in three weeks, seemingly noting its importance as a swing-state ahead of the November election. Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in 2016 by about 45,000 votes.
Other than Flight 93, which was heading from San Francisco to Newark, three other planes hijacked that day were crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York and at the Pentagon in Washington. The attacks sparked the War on Terror that led to the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq under the Bush administration.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) in file photos (J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo; Win McNamee/Getty Images)
The Trump administration warned states in private briefings that they were becoming COVID-19 hotspots while publicly striking a less alarmist tone, a Democrat-led House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis revealed. …
President Donald Trump delivers his acceptance speech for the Republican presidential nomination on the South Lawn of the White House August 27, 2020 in Washington, DC. Trump gave the speech in front of 1500 invited guests. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
President Donald Trump during the Republican National Convention (RNC) suggested the Democrats pose an existential threat to the United States, casting the November election as a binary choice between order and chaos.
“At no time before have voters faced a clearer choice between two parties, two visions, two philosophies, or two agendas,” the president remarked in accepting the GOP’s nomination for president. “This is the most important in the history of our country,” he said, adding that Democrats want to create a “socialist agenda” to “demolish” the United States.
Democrats, he suggested, are obscuring a far-left, socialist agenda and are propping up Biden as a moderate Trojan Horse.
Trump excoriated Democratic nominee Joe Biden and his party, saying that his administration has “spent the last four years reversing the damage Joe Biden inflicted over the last 47 years. At the Democrat convention, you barely heard a word about their agenda. But that’s not because they don’t have one. It’s because their agenda is the most extreme set of proposals ever put forward by a major party nominee.”
In recent months, Trump has cast himself as the “law and order” candidate in the midst of protests, riots, arson, looting, and general civil unrest in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis. At the same time, he has accused Biden of kowtowing to the more radical elements in the Democratic Party in the midst of calls to defund police departments.
“How can the Democratic Party be asked to lead our country when it spends so much time tearing down our country,” Trump rhetorically asked.
Biden, 77, on Thursday, accused Trump, 74 of using the specter of violence as a “political strategy,” rather than actually aiming to address it. Democrats formally nominated Biden at a convention last week.
“Donald Trump keeps saying it won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America,” he said. “Their proof? The violence you’re seeing is in Donald Trump’s administration, Donald Trump’s America. Did they forget who’s president?”
Earlier in the night, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) made little mention of Trump but instead focused on the Democrats, saying that the party doesn’t want to improve the lives of people living in “flyover country,” adding that they want to “defund the police and take away your Second Amendment rights.” McConnell, like Trump, reiterated that Biden’s agenda as president isn’t clear.
Before Trump, RNC speakers warned about Biden embracing the left-wing agenda, which was underscored by Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday. Earlier on Thursday night, the GOP tapped NYPD union boss Patrick Lynch and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani to issue warnings about what could happen if Democratic officials take control of the federal government.
“When you consider their agenda, it’s clear: Joe Biden would be nothing more than a Trojan horse for a radical left,” Pence said. “The choice in this election has never been clearer, and the stakes have never been higher.”
In a rebuttal to Trump, Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris said the president is incompetent in the face of multiple crises, declaring: “Donald Trump doesn’t understand the presidency.” She primarily faulted the president’s leadership in dealing with the CCP virus pandemic in the United States, where around 180,000 people have died from the virus.
“He thinks it’s all about him,” she said, adding that “it’s about all of us. … Donald Trump has failed at the most basic and important job of a president of the United States: He failed to protect the American people, plain and simple.”
Trump also touted his administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A street is seen strewn with debris and downed power lines after Hurricane Laura passed through the area in Lake Charles, La., on August 27, 2020. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Hurricane Laura made landfall on Thursday in southwestern Louisiana, bringing catastrophic storm surge to southern Louisiana’s coast.
The storm hit the state as a Category 4 storm but later was downgraded to a Category 1 later in the day, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC) at 9 a.m. The NHC said that the threat of possibly deadly storm surge will continue along the Louisiana coast as Laura moved north.
Louisiana officials also issued a warning to those who didn’t evacuate from mandatory zones before Laura hit, saying that rescue efforts will not be initiated until the storm surge dissipates.
“Those choosing to stay and face this very dangerous storm must understand that rescue efforts cannot and will not begin until after storm and surge has passed and it is safe to do so,” the Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s Office said in a statement Thursday. “Please evacuate, and if you choose to stay and we can’t get to you, write your name, address, social security number and next of kin and put it [in] a Ziploc bag in your pocket. Praying that it does not come to this.”
“This is one of the strongest storms to impact that section of coastline,” said David Roth, a National Weather Service forecaster, according to Reuters. “We worry about that storm surge going so far inland there because it’s basically all marshland north to Interstate 10. There is little to stop the water.”
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said the U.S. Postal Service will not carry out some operational and organizational changes such as removing mail processing equipment or collection boxes until the end of the November election, following critical feedback and pressure from Democrats in Congress.
In a statement on Tuesday, DeJoy, who was recently appointed to the position, said, “To avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail, I am suspending these initiatives until after the election is concluded.” DeJoy added he would expand a task force on mail during the election.
His announcement comes as House and Senate Democrats accused President Donald Trump, DeJoy, and other officials of attempting to weaken the agency in the midst of the pandemic and just months away from the election. Trump and DeJoy have both denied their allegations, saying it was normal, routine changes that were being carried out.
He didn’t state which specific initiatives he was suspending—instead providing assurances.
“The Postal Service is ready today to handle whatever volume of election mail it receives this fall,” DeJoy added in the press release. The agency also will expand its task force on election mail and will have more resources ready starting on Oct. 1.
Trump and White House chief of Staff Mark Meadows, meanwhile, told reporters last week that he would be willing to provide billions of dollars in Democrat-requested funds to the Postal Service if they made concessions on a broader stimulus deal that entails stimulus payments, small business loans, and more.
DeJoy is slated to testify in front of the Democrat-controlled House Oversight Committee next week. He’ll also appear before the GOP-led Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Friday.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called the lower chamber back early from its recess to vote on preventing changes at the Postal Service. Reports said lawmakers are aiming to vote on the measure Saturday.
In the release, DeJoy said that he was appointed as head of the Postal Service, which was created in 1971, to “make changes to secure the success of this organization and its long-term sustainability.” Trump has long said that the agency has been hemorrhaging billions of dollars every year, while blaming companies like Amazon for taking advantage of it.
“I believe significant reforms are essential to that objective, and work toward those reforms will commence after the election. In the meantime, there are some longstanding operational initiatives—efforts that predate my arrival at the Postal Service—that have been raised as areas of concern as the nation prepares to hold an election in the midst of a devastation pandemic,” he said.
DeJoy added that retail hours at Post Offices around the United States won’t change, mail processing equipment and blue collection boxes won’t be moved, no mail processing facilities will be shut down, and overtime for workers will continue.
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(L) President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference in Bedminster, N.J., on Aug. 15, 2020. (Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images) (R) Mayor Bill De Blasio speaks during a video press conference at the NYC City Hall on March 19, 2020. (William Farrington-Pool/Getty Images)
Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is turning over information to U.S. Attorney John Durham regarding the potential criminal actions of a former FBI official involved in the investigation of Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.
Bill Priestap was one of five FBI employees who briefed the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2018, Graham said Friday, accusing the briefers of “completely whitewashing the truth about the reliability of the dossier.”
Ex-British spy Christopher Steele compiled second- and third-hand information into a dossier that appears to have been used by intelligence officials to spy on Trump’s campaign. The dossier was paid for by the Democratic National Committee and the campaign of Hillary Clinton, Trump’s Democrat rival.
None of the explosive allegations against Trump in the dossier were proven, and many have been undercut in the following years.
Graham said the information about Priestap is headed to Durham.
“What I’m going to do with this is turn it over to Durham because I think the briefing in 2018, a year after the subsource told the FBI the dossier was a bunch of garbage, whitewashing that report to the Senate Intel Committee is potentially another crime,” Graham said during an appearance on Fox News’ “Sean Hannity.”
“So, I’m going to send all of this to Durham when I get it.”
Graham described Priestap as “one of the leaders of Crossfire Hurricane,” the Trump campaign investigation. He said he was told by FBI Director Christopher Wray that Priestap briefed senators on the dossier.
Durham, tasked last year with reviewing how the FBI handled its probe into Trump’s campaign, charged a former FBI attorney earlier Friday. Kevin Clinesmith is expected to plead guilty to willfully altering the content of an email. He allegedly changed an email from the CIA stating that Carter Page, a former Trump campaign associate, was a known CIA source to say Page was “not a source” for the CIA.
An FBI special agent who received the email used it to get permission from the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to spy on Page.
“What this lawyer did is a really big deal. We have to trust the system. There’s got to be a certain amount of trust. This is a lawyer, a man of the law, a member of the bar, who took it upon himself to falsify a document to keep an investigation going that should have been stopped,” Graham said.
“Something tells me that Mr. Clinesmith knows where the bodies are buried, and if I were in the FBI working on Crossfire Hurricane, I’d be very worried about right now.”……….
Senate Democrat calls for end of recess amid warning about mail-in ballot delays
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), the chair of Senate Democrats’ campaign arm, called for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to cut the August recess short over warnings that mail-in ballots this November may not arrive in time for the election.
Cortez Masto, who heads the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), cited a warning from the United States Postal Services (USPS) about “inconsistencies” between its delivery service and state deadlines for receiving and counting mail-in ballots ahead of an anticipated spike in mail-in voting this year in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s unacceptable that in the United States of America, the Postal Service has to warn Americans that their ballots may not be counted if they vote by mail,” Cortez Masto said in a statement released by the DSCC. “Mitch McConnell should end recess, return to Washington, and work to pass the bipartisan emergency funding needed to provide urgent economic relief, combat this pandemic, and ensure the Postal Service can operate in a safe and timely manner.”
President Donald Trump speaks during a briefing at the White House in Washington on Aug. 11, 2020. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)
President Donald Trump on Friday said that he directed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to prepare to send out $1,200 stimulus checks to Americans, but he insisted that Democrats are responsible for the hold-up.
“I have directed @stevenmnuchin1 to get ready to send direct payments ($3,400 for family of four) to all Americans,” Trump wrote at around noon. “DEMOCRATS ARE HOLDING THIS UP!”
Trump later said in a news conference at the White House that he is “waiting for the Democrats” in Congress and won’t act independently to issue an executive order.
Both Republicans and Democrats support sending $1,200 stimulus checks in the next relief package, which means that a family of four could get $3,400.
However, the White House and top Democratic negotiators, such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), have not met on pandemic relief talks since last week. This week, there was little sign that either side would offer any concessions.
It means that the high-stakes impasse might spill over into September, putting at risk the stimulus checks, expanded unemployment payments, small business loans, funding to state and city governments, and more. Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) confirmed that senators have left Washington until September but will be called to return to the Capitol if there is a change of a relief deal.
Barr Says Expect ‘Development’ on Durham’s Crossfire Hurricane Probe Friday